Our football match prediction:
All eyes will be on Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki when Greece and Belgium face each other in the Group H derby. Greece failed to impress in a goalless draw with Estonia in their last qualifier and key attacker Mitroglu (injury) was sorely missed in Thursday’s football match. Anyhow, Michael Skibbe’s men remained in second place in their qualifying group, but they will have a big fish to fry in Sunday’s clash against the star-studded Belgians. A win over Greece will see the Red Devils secure automatic qualification for the showpiece tournament in Russia and seeing that coach Roberto Martinez can count on key players for the match, we predict that the Group H leaders are going to extend their winning run in the 2018 WC qualifiers. A man to watch in the away team will be Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard, who has recovered from his injury, whilst Manchester United attacker Romelu Lukaku is likely to lead the line for the visitors against Greece.
Highlighted Player (Andreas Samaris):
Greece international midfielder Andreas Samaris began his career playing for Panachaiki before his spells with Panionios and Olympiakos. Benfica is the first international experience for the 27-year-old player who arrived in Portugal in 2014. A full international since 2013, Samaris represented Greece at the 2014 FIFA World Cup during which he managed to make his presence known and earn a move abroad. Andreas Samaris operates as a central midfield but is capable of filling in defensive midfielder role. Greek international was the mainstay for Benfica during his first two seasons at the club managing 46 Primeira Liga appearances during the period. He also added 12 Champions League appearances. Andreas Samaras helped Benfica win two Primeira Liga titles, two Taca da Liga trophies and one Super Cup. Greek international was the regular performer for his national team during the unsuccessful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with ten games to his name.
Highlighted Team (Belgium):
Present on the international stage since 1904, Belgium national team have had plenty of ups and downs in the past, finishing as runners up at the 1980 European Championship in Italy. The Red Devils also won the third place on home soil at the 1972 tournament, while they enjoyed some success at the World Cup finals as well. Belgium qualified for 12 World Cup tournaments, reaching the semi-finals in 1986 and quarter-finals at the 2014 tournament in Brazil. It is the generation that played in Brazil that is believed to be the most talented team since the one featuring Enzo Scifo, Michel Preud’homme and Franky van der Elst. Playing their home games at King Baudouin Stadium, the Red Devils have impressed at the start of the 21st century, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne just some of the world-class players in the squad. Following some impressive results in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and international friendlies, Belgium climbed to number 1 position in the FIFA Rankings in November 2015.